Dating too soon after divorce with children

Wait instead until the relationship is getting serious.That seems to be the best time to share what’s happening. If you’re fortunate enough to go from dating to moving in together and forming a blended family, what role should the new stepparent play?How do we help kids through these transitions and avoid instability? Kristen Hadfield, a post-doctoral fellow I supervise at the Resilience Research Centre, who has been doing research in the U.

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Being dumped with a babysitter rather than snuggling up to watch Friday night movies with mom can make kids blame the new love interest for robbing them of their parent’s attention. Online dating has made it easier to meet people, but that doesn’t mean kids should be subjected to the instability that an active dating life brings with it.

The fact is, kids don’t really want to meet all those new partners, even if they say they do.

Parents who get into these relationships may have very different expectations for how things should be than the men and women who they’re bringing home.

For example, Hadfield found that custodial parents wanted their new partners to take on a parenting role with their children, as well as being the parent's romantic partner.

After all, older children especially can feel like they have a close relationship with their custodial parent and might feel betrayed that something as big as a new love interest wasn’t shared.

Kids, Hadfield says, may actually mistrust the new partner more if they feel like he or she was the reason their parent lied.

All those online dating sites are doing what they were intended to do.

While there are no firm statistics on the number of lifetime partners of parents, we know that almost a third of live births are to single women and that their children are more likely than other kids to have a half-sibling by age 10.

The worse thing a romantic partner can try and do is parent a child who doesn’t want them to be there.

In situations like that, it may be best for the new partner to think of themself more as the child’s uncle or aunt: a friendly, supportive person who occasionally holds children to account for what they do.

When it works out, the kids benefit from having more adults in their lives.

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